These pages discuss the 2003 Field School
in the Paleontology Certification Program at the Denver Museum of Nature &
Science (DMNS). The Field School is an week long camping trip which
allows you to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the Certification
Program to real life, current research at DMNS. Unlike other courses in
the program, which are modeled in a the typical transfer of knowledge schemes
taught in many schools, the Field School is designed to benefit DMNS as well
as the student. The location changes from year-to-year, based on current
field research at DMNS. It is usually taught in Colorado, Wyoming or
Utah. This year, the Field School was based out of Kiowa, Colorado at
the Kiowa Fair Grounds. The field work was chosen to directly benefit
the Denver Basin Project (see DMNS.org)
being conducted at DMNS, as well as benefiting the student in a real world
field research environment. The Kiowa Fair Ground is noteworthy in the
Denver Basin Project because it is home to one of the core wells
drilled by DMNS. This 302 meter well provided stratigraphic data that was used
on our daily trips to other localities in the basin. (Having the Field
School based out of the Kiowa Fair Grounds also provided comforts to the
participants with its showers, flush toilets and meeting room! These luxuries
were greatly appreciated by the students!)
Denver Basin Project Background: This is a unique
project in that it focuses on both ancient data (fossils, geology) and
present-day concerns (water resources in bedrock aquifers) of one of the
fastest growing regions in the country. The project is funded by a
variety of sources including: National Science Foundation, U. S. Geological Survey, Division of Water
Resources; Colorado Water Conservation Board; Colorado State Engineer; and Colorado State University.
The Denver Basin covers a vast area of the Front Range, from Longmont to
Colorado Springs (north-south) and from Golden to near Limon
(west-east). The oldest deposits are from the Cretaceous Pierre
Seaway. The youngest are still being deposited today as a result of
erosion from the Rocky Mountain uplift.
Field School Summary: The pages provided below
are organized by day and represent research being conducted in different
geographic locations and different geologic times. Within each page, you
will find links to additional images from that day which were taken by myself.
Day 1 (7/06/03) - Camp setup and night lecture:
Day 2 (7/07/03) - West Bijou
Creek at Soil Conservation District: Tertiary mammals and leaves;
Cretaceous dinosaurs & the K/T boundary.
Day 3 (7/08/03) - Plum Creek and Pulpit Rock, Colorado
Cretaceous sharks and leaves.
Day 4 (7/09/03) - West Bijou Creek, private
mammals and leaves.
Day 5 (7/10/03) - Fossil Rainforest, Castle Rock,
Day 6 (7/11/03) - West Bijou Creek, private
mammals & leaves.
Day 7 (7/12/03) - Paint Mines, Calhan,
Tertiary leaves, paleosol & geological D1/D2 contact of Denver Basin.